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Mark C. Biron
Fort Wainwright PAO
Alaska dining facility meal prices will increase as much as 11.4 percent for the breakfast meal and 10.6 percent for the lunch and dinner meals beginning Jan. 1.
"By regulation, the comptroller for the Secretary of Defense sets the rates every year for the Food Service Program," said Jim Dellwo, Garrison Food Services supervisor.
Dining facilities on forts Richardson and Wainwright will be affected.
"The new rates apply to all appropriated fund dining facilities, which include all military dining facilities in Alaska and the Military Academy dining halls," Dellwo said.
Diners qualify for either the discount or standard rate.
"Under the traditional meal system, there are two rates," he said. "Spouses and other family members of ranks private through specialist; members of nationally or locally sponsored nonprofit youth groups, such as Civil Air Patrol, Junior ROTC and Scouting units, pay the discount rate. Officers, enlisted members and federal civilian employees who are on duty or in a travel status also receive the discount rate. Officers and enlisted members receiving a subsistence allowance pay the standard rate."
It is still economical to dine at the DFAC, despite the increase.
"The new breakfast price will be $1.95 at the discount rate and $2.30 at the standard rate," said Fort Wainwright Garrison Dining Facility No. 2 manager Jerry Finklea. "This is an increase of 20 cents from what it is now. The lunch price will be $3.65 at the discount rate and $4.25 at the standard rate. Dinner will cost $3.65 at the discount rate and $4.25 at the standard rate. The prices of both lunch and dinner will increase 40 cents from last year's cost."
The price of brunch, supper, holiday meals and night snacks will also increase.
"Brunch will be $4.20 and $4.85; supper will be $4.95 and $5.95, holiday meals will be $5.95 and $7 (and) night snacks will be $2.30 and $2.70 at the discount and standard rates, respectively," Finklea said.
A la carte meals are managed differently.
"Bassett Army Hospital and the Air Force have a la carte," Dellwo said. "Each item on the menu is priced at 133 percent of the food cost, and the prices could change every week."
The increase is one of the largest cost increases in many years.
"Historically, the meal prices have gone up 5 to 10 cents every year," Dellwo said. "But this year, the cost is going up 20 cents."